What do omega-3s do?
Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in helping to maintain a healthy body. Studies have suggested omega-3 fatty acids benefit to us in many different ways, including cognitive development, eye health, joint health, ability concentrate and absorb information, reduction in onset of dementia, blood composition and heart health. Omega-3s’ effect on heart health and blood composition has been studied the most widely, and in these areas, omega-3s health benefits are fully accepted.
What types of omega-3s are out there?
Consumer awareness of marine omega-3 is quite high, in but there is still confusion between marine omega-3 versus vegetable sourced of omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids. They are molecules that cannot be synthesized by the human body, but are vital for normal metabolism. The main sources of omega-3 fatty acids are plants such as flax, which produces Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA), Algae, which produces Docosohexanoic Acid (DHA) and fish, which produce both DHA and EPA (Eicosapentanoic Acid).
Of the three fatty acids mentioned, EPA and DHA are the most beneficial to humans. The body has to convert ALA into EPA and DHA. This process is not very efficient (less then 10 percent conversion rate), so much more ALA needs to be consumed to achieve the same benefits as EPA and DHA.
How much do we need?
Different countries recommend different amounts of omega-3. Recently in Europe, a level of 250 mg EPA and DHA combined per day has been approved. In the United States, 500 mg per day is suggested. Other countries recommend even higher levels.
Do we consume enough omega-3s?
European and American governments agree that in general, people need to consume more omega-3s. Over the years, the human diet has changed. We now eat more seed oils and less fish. This has resulted in a decrease in the amount of omega-3 we consume and an increase in the amount of omega-6 fatty acids we consume. We need to redress this balance and consume more Omega 3 to maintain our health.
What challenges do we face when including omega-3s in bakery products?
It’s quite easy to deliver an omega-3 ingredient that can be incorporated in bakery products. It’s not so easy to deliver a cost efficient marine omega-3 ingredient that can be incorporated into bakery product, giving a meaning full amount of EPA & DHA per serving, without influencing the taste.
Where are marine omega-3s used today and how much EPA and DHA can be delivered in one serving of bread or other bakery products?
Our customers are located in Europe, Asia and in North America. They use TINE EPADHA 2200 omega-3 oil in bakery products, mainly bread. They content of EPA and DHA varies between 50-150 mg per 50 g serving. In The U.S., most companies using other suppliers than TINE EPADHA add around 32 mg EPA and DHA, due to the cost of the ingredients and challenges with the taste. We work closely with our customers to understand their challenges, so we also can reduce the product development time. There are many companies that underestimate consumer awareness of the health benefits from marine omega-3 and these companies often take a short cut by offering vegetable source of omega-3. This is a short-term solution, and our experience in other markets is that media will discover that these types of products do not deliver the benefits that the consumers are expecting in omega-3 products.
A bakery product claiming to be rich in omega-3s must deliver a meaningful amount of EPA and DHA. Most of our customers deliver around 25-50 percent of the recommended daily dosage (ISSFAL: 500 mg EPA & DHA per day) in one serving of a bakery product.
The TINE EPADHA team is ready to assist in cost efficient use of marine omega-3 in good tasting products.
An expert weighs inEspen Thomassen, Sales & Marketing Director, Omega-3, TINE EPADHA
People are concerned with health, and according to most consumer trend analyses, they are actively seeking healthful products.
Still, nobody wants to sacrifice flavor in the name of health. But why should a healthy product have to taste bad? After more than a decade in the marine omega-3 industry I have meet hundreds of people from hundreds food companies from all over the world. They have one thing in common; they are concerned about the taste of their products.
We at TINE EPADHA have the same concern. We do not want our ingredients to be used in products that taste bad. This is why we have developed a marine omega-3 oil specifically for use in bakery products. We understand that it is challenging to make good bakery products with a consistent taste, and that it is challenging to deliver the same good tasting product from several production runs every day.
When we developed TINE EPADHA 2200 Omega-3 Oil for use in bakery products, we had to consider the day-to-day life in a bakery. We established a team of baking industry experts when developing our new generation of marine omega-3 products for use in bakery products.
The sensory quality of the oil alone is not enough to convince the bakery industry to incorporate marine omega-3 into their products. They have to consider how their staff will be able to handle this ingredient in hectic production and trust that the end product tastes exactly the same as their customers have come to expect. Roughly 50 companies are using TINE EPADHA 2200 Omega-3 Oil in their daily production.